Monday, July 26, 2021

We Have Lost a Stalwart of the Community - Brian Fitzpatrick (Moebius Adventures) Has Passed at 51 Years of Age

I was notified earlier this afternoon that Brian Fitzpatrick had passed away Saturday afternoon, July 24th, after a rafting accident. Brian was 51.

One dead after raft flips on Arkansas River in Chaffee County

One man was found dead Saturday after his commercial raft flipped on a 'rocky and steep' section of the Arkansas River, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 

It is believed that 51-year-old Brian Fitzpatrick was attempting to raft through the Numbers Recreation Site, north of Buena Vista, which is known for technical and challenging rafting when his raft flipped, officials said in a news release. 

Employees for a commercial rafting company downstream of the accident reportedly pulled Fitzpatrick from the water and began CPR, according to parks and wildlife. 

Chaffee County EMS officials along with parks and wildlife staff responded to a 911 call regarding the incident. After arrival, further lifesaving efforts were made, but they were unable to revive him. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy to establish an official cause of death is scheduled Monday, according to the Chaffee County Coroner's office. 

Gallant Knight Games has made an announcement:

Brian Fitzpatrick & Moebius Adventures

On Saturday July 24th, Gallant Knight Games was notified that Brian Fitzpatrick of Moebius Adventures passed away unexpectedly in an accident.

The loss of our friend, colleague and publishing partner is heart wrenching, and we can only imagine the pain his family is going through. Brian was a vital part of our day to day lives, both in the industry and outside of it, and his loss is deeply felt.

While the family takes the time they need, we again extend our heartfelt sorrow at this unexpected loss and everyone to respect the family’s privacy.

Alan & Erin Bahr, Gallant Knight Games.

Short Bio of Brian Fitzpatrick and Moebius Games (PRLOG)

RPG Geeks Page for Brian Fitzpatrick

I offer prayers and condolences to Brian's family, friends, and business partners. When and if there is further information to share regarding services and such, I will update this page. Tenkar

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Dissing the Call of Cthulu Quick Start Rules.....for a Purpose

 

Dissing the Call of Cthulu Quick Start Rules.....for a Purpose
Today the podcast I helped with dropped, and while I'm not above self-promotion, the reason for mentioning it is the fact that I was clearly NOT a fan of the Call of Cthulu Quick-Start rules....

.....like holy fuck I would NOT want to play the game after reading these rules.

"Gee Chris, what's your beef with the game*?"

*(Asshole) is clearly inferred.....


Now I did take copious notes while I was reading, and re-reading the Quick-Start rules. While I have the notes, I'm not even going to glance at them. Since it's been a week now I'd like to *just* go off of my memory because some, well maybe some, of the small nit-picky stuff would be forgotten and the problems that remained with me a week later might be something that could be addressed....

......not that I expect Chaosium to read the Tavern, much less take my advice (but if they do my standard consulting fee is $50/hr with a 2 hour minimum), BUT.....I know sometimes uber fans try (and in my opinion fail) to put together their own "Quick-Start" rules. If anyone can learn from my observations/pain, than great....this post will be worthwhile.

First off, I really think ANYONE trying to put together any sort of RPG guide needs to sit-down and literally (as in write it out) determine what their focus/audience is. Making a guide for experienced RPG players vs. completely new players is fricken huge! This Call of Cthulu Quick-Start (CoCQS) said it was for total RPG newbs, but it clearly was not. There were references to advanced rules not even mentioned in the guide....and by not mentioned I don't even mean in passing. If I wasn't already a gamer I might not even have noticed that the references were to "advanced" rules.

On the flip side though, to advanced rules, is to realize what rules you're going to include and actually use them! After reading the CoCQS and then the included adventure it seemed apparent there was some sort of base-line for essentially untrained skills....but there wasn't a single mention that skills had a base level, just if you "got" the skills then you used  certain numbers as a base you added a percentage to. For what seemed like a skills-heavy game, not actually expressing how your skills work is a cardinal sin.

So we had rules included/referenced that shouldn't be, and basic skills missing......we also had basic aspects of the game that technically were represented in the adventure, but easily skipped. I think it would have been difficult to go through the adventure and not use the Sanity mechanic, but Luck.....Luck could easily have been missed when playing through the included adventure.

When you started out the adventure the players are given an either/or direction for where to proceed, when it is really obvious to an experienced player that there were more than the two options.....not terrible in and of itself, but since the CoCQS was aimed at not only inexperienced players, but a brand new Keeper (GM).......not cool.

...also not cool were including things that had no value to the game. There was a spell mentioned and even a handout that were straight-up throw-aways as they were never shown or mentioned again. Now after talking to the other guest hosts evidently there are some follow-on adventures that can utilize these elements. Nothing wrong with that per se, BUT even a simple included statement letting this new Keeper know that these elements tie into a larger thing would be useful.

Speaking of useful, or really not useful in this case, were the included handouts for the adventure. Ugh, talk about a missed opportunity. These handouts were basically just a typed up summation of "boxed text" the Keeper would have read out. No added value......which leads me into a larger point.

The whole idea of the CoCQS is to give a taste of the game rules with a short adventure. Hopefully this would entice people to I don't know.....actually want to play the game! It was clear that the product I downloaded from the Chaosium website was an actually printed product....and printed product costs money, BUT download product....not so much. Simply dumping what was a full-color (even if the color was black & white) press product into a PDF and calling it good was a missed opportunity. They could've easily reformatted the contents to look nicer for at-home B&W or even color printing and those handouts.....they could have made "real" handouts. If a handout was a newspaper clipping, then make a freakin handout that looks like a newspaper clipping! Chaosium could have, relatively cheaply, made a full CoCQS "packet" that would have had a ton of impact and really drew in some new players.

As it stands the CoCQS was a confusing mess of rules and an adventure that did not accurately reflect the rules trying to be taught.

Thing is, and this might seem painfully obvious, a metric shit-ton of potential difficulty could be involved by simply involving people that are your desired audience. If you wish to market your Quick-Start to complete RPG newbs, get some RPG newbs involved in at least the editing and playtesting elements. Some of the problems I noted were most likely created because the writer was overly familiar with the rules to begin with. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Christmas in July Sale - Tavern Picks - Part II - Classic TSR Era Settings and Rules

Today I continue with further Christmas in July Sale Picks. As stated previously, everything that is on my pick list for the current Christmas in July Sale at DTRPG is something I own, either in print, PDF, or both.

My Christmas in July Picks Part I post can be found at this link.

Now, on to today's Classic TSR Era Christmas in July Picks:

Planescape Campaign Setting (2e) - Sigil - The City of Doors. There is so much I liked about this setting. My players, however, preferred Dark Sun. 

Discover the multiverse! Enter infinite universes of infinite variety, worlds beyond the prime-material settings of the AD&D game. Explore Sigil, the City of Doors, filled with portals to every layer of every plane. All you need is the right key, including. . .

  • A Player's Guide to the Planes: A 32-page primer that introduces DMs and players alike to the grand design of the multiverse.
  • A DM's Guide to the Planes: A 64-page book of valuable information solely for the Dungeon Master.
  • Sigil and Beyond: A 96-page gazetteer that introduces Sigil and its surrounding plane as the starting point for planar adventures. From Sigil all the Outer Planes may be sampled by novice and veteran explorers alike.
  • Monstrous Supplement: a 32-page, full-color Monstrous Compendium booklet.
  • Four poster-size maps depicting the planes.
  • A four-panel DM screen designed especially for planar campaigns.
Normally 14.99, on sale in PDF for 11.24

Gamma World (1e)
- The first RPG I bought for myself, the whole "Constitution Score equals the number of Hit Dice" caused a lot of head-scratching back in the day.

In a quest for survival and in search of a better future, the players adventure across the land, enduring hardships and encountering dangerous obstacles and mysterious foes - never knowing quite what to expect. The result is a game that can go in many directions, but which will be challenging and fascinating no matter what the outcome.

The GAMMA WORLD™ Set includes all the basics needed to set up your own "world": game booklet (packed with terrible mutants, as well as guidelines for creating additional ones of your own), a large campaign map (designed to be easily modified by individual gamemasters), and a full set of polyhedra dice. The only other things necessary are a good imagination and a spirit of adventure!

Normally 9.99, on sale in PDF for 7.49

Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
- Forget the City of Doors. Give me a ship that sails the skies and I'm good as rain!

Multitudes of worlds wheel through Wildspace. The crystal shells that encase them bob and drift in a turbulent, rainbow ocean which fills all the cosmos. Sturdy merchants, bold pirates, and daring explorers venture into the great, unknown vastness of the universe, seeking wealth and adventure.

The SPELLJAMMER Game puts you in command of a fantastic ship capable of spanning the tremendous distances between planets. Graceful elven flitters, stately illithid galleys, deadly beholder tyrants, and the awesome Spelljammer itself carry trade, emissaries, and heroic action throughout all the worlds of the AD&D game.

Normally 9.99, on sale in PDF for 7.49

D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Basic) -
Often referred to by many as the single, best rulebook of the era, I remember houseruleing my AD&D campaign with rules taken in whole from the Rules Cyclopedia.

Whether you're a player or a Dungeon Master, the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia is now the comprehensive sourcebook you need for the original fantasy roleplaying game! For ages 12 and up, the Cyclopedia contains the compete game system and hundreds of features, including the following:
  • All the rules from the D&D boxed set series, including Basic, Expert, Companion, and Masters
  • Guidelines to develop and play characters from levels 1-36
  • Comprehensive lists of weaponry and equipment
  • Expansion rules including optional skills and talents
  • An overview of the Known World and the HOLLOW WORLD game setting, the official D&D campaign world; and Rules to convert D&D games and characters into AD&D 2nd edition game statistics and back again
Normally 9.99, on sale in PDF for 7.49

Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn -
I bought this game for my sister to play, so in the end it became mine ;) 

Alpha Dawn... stage one of the Star FrontiersTM science fiction game system.
A great way to enter the world of science fiction role playing.

These Basic Rules teach you how to create characters, move and fight on the game map, and how to create adventures of your own. The included adventure, Crash on Volturnus, is simple enough for both beginning players and referees.

Stage two... expanded rules and much more!

Picture the world-famous Dungeons & Dragons game. Now imagine this same excitement in a science fiction setting. You'll find our Expanded Rules add that kind of challenge, detail, and opportunity for victory. 

Everything you need: This set includes the Basic Rule Book, the Expanded Rule Book, the Crash on Volturnus Adventure Module, printable full-color map, printable counters.

Normally 9.99, on sale in PDF for 7.49

Dark Sun Boxed Set (2e) -
A great dark setting for D&D. I don't think WotC could do it justice in today's environment.

Amid the barren wastelands of Athas lie the scattered city-states, each in the grip of its own, tyrannical sorcerer-king. Protecting their own positions with dark magic, they demand absolute obedience. The restless mobs are placated with bread and circuses --the arenas overflow with spectators seeking release from their harsh lives.

The land outside the cities belong to no one. Savage elves race across the deserts while insectoid Thri-Kreen satisfy their taste for blood. Dwarves labor at projects beyond the scope of men, and feral halflings lie in ambush.

Athas is a land of deadly magic and powerful psionics that offers promise of glory or even of survival. Those who do not have the cunning to face life on Athas will surely perish - leaving nothing but bones bleached white under the blistering rays of the DARK SUN

On the sands of Athas you'll face:
  • Three new PC races!
  • Muls - half-dwarf, half-human; specially bred for combat!
  • Thri-Kreen - the savage mantis-warriors of the Barrens!
  • Half-giants - bred for tremendous size and strength
  • Three new PC classes!
  • Gladiators - heroes of the arenas, the ultimate warriors!
  • Templars - Wicked priests who serve the sorcerer-kings!
  • Defilers - wizards whose powers drain the life around them!
  • More powerful PC's
  • All Dark Sun game characters begin at 3rd level!
  • Ability scores that can go as high as 24!
  • All PC's have one or more psionic powers!
  • The new character tree allows players to advance many characters at once!
Normally 9.99, on sale in PDF for 7.49

The Tavern is supported by readers like you. The easiest way to support The Tavern is to shop via our affiliate links. DTRPGAmazon, and Humble Bundle are affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar 

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